The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that pilots on American Airlines flights would be allowed to use iPads for the "electronic flight bag," replacing the last bit of paper that pilot deal with, such as when flying below 10,000 feet.
Until now, pilots were required to carrry 35 pounds of printed manuals, aviation regulations, and other paperwork to fly any jetliner.
Previous efforts in the past couple of years, such as Alaska Airlines' move to replace paper flight manuals with iPads and United's handing of pilots iPads to use as navigational tools, have been steps toward the complete replacement of paper.
Oddly, the FAA will continue to prevent passengers from using iPads (and similar electronic devices) during take-off and landing -- precisely when the pilots will be using their iPads as flight manuals.
American says it will issue customized versions of the Apple tablet computers to each of its pilots.
The lightweight iPads will save $1.2 million in jet fuel a year, says the announcement.
AA developed a 16g.-FAA-approved mount for the iPad.
The move may be followed by handing flight attendants tabletsthat can help them handle customer service, reports the Dallas Morning News's Aviation blog.
Tnooz has written before about how pilots love iPads (and the related flight-planning apps like ForeFlight). AA's move will be surely copied by other commercial airlines.